Skip to main content

tv   Global 3000  KCSMMHZ  September 22, 2012 5:00am-5:30am PDT

5:00 am
>> hello and welcome to global 3000. every week we look at the effects of globalization and how it is changing our world. and here's what we have coming up for you today -- no escape -- how pesticides are destroying entire communities in india eternal breeze -- morocco tries to make the most of the forces of nature and cultural melt-down -- how parts of laos are taken over by
5:01 am
partying tourists. would you spray a deadly toxic chemical on crops you later want to eat? five decades after endosulfan was developed as the rising star in pest control, reports of birth defects and severe health problems have caused the world to take action. a committee, set up under the stockholm convention, has put the chemical on its list of persistent organic pollutants. this ultimate blacklist of the world's most dangerous chemicals lists substances that accumulate in plants, animals and humans. they remain in the soil with no sign of depletion, and they keep spreading uncontrollably around the globe. according to the stockholm convention, this year was to see the end of the use of endosulfan. and yet some countries still resist banning this poison. our report from india shows the consequences of inaction.
5:02 am
>> haseena is in bad shape. she can no longer speak or feed herself or even sit up. she can hardly move. her limbs are twisted, her feet and fingers bent in every direction. her mother balkise has to nurse her round the clock. >> my daughter gets no help from anyone but me. my husband is ill and can't work any more. my son's always running a fever and can't help us much. if anything were to happen to me, who'd take care of my sick daughter? >> she shows us photos of her daughter when she was healthy and going to school. when haseena was five, she started getting headaches and fevers. then her condition deteriorated rapidly. now haseena is 21. she's tried all kinds of medication, but none helped.
5:03 am
balkise shows us a report that says what caused haseena's illness -- endosulfan, an insecticide highly toxic to humans. >> i'm so desperate. endosulfan made my daughter ill, but no one's helping us. we get no financial support. we don't have enough money for her medicine. i'd rather die than go on living like this. >> this is in the north end of the state of kerala, on india's western coast. vast cashew plantations cover more than 6000 hektares. they are all state-owned. cashews are a major export product. the countryside looks like paradise -- but it's poisoned. for more than twenty years, helicopters sprayed the land with high concentrations of endosulfan. the land and the communities that live here were contaminated.
5:04 am
endosulfan was developed by the german chemical company hoechst. after 2002, it was produced for india by the domestic excel industries and hindustan chemicals under a patent license from the german bayer cropscience company. dr. mohana kumar has been a physician in this region for thirty years. the creeping poison, as he calls it, has had a dramatic effect on the population's health. he says a disproportionate number of babies are born sick, with spastic paralysis, deformities and mental disabilities. he says the body absorbs endosulfan through the skin and through food and water. it accumulates in the liver, kidneys, brain and bone marrow. it damages the dna, which then affects the next generation. >> endosulfan is a deadly poison. its action is to kill.
5:05 am
whatever comes into contact with it, it has to kill -- it will kill. so naturally, all the pests. >> dr. kumar calls it a mass tragedy. at least 22 villages in kerala are affected, with more than 6000 people terminally ill. hundreds have already died. and the environment has been so contaminated that it might well take generations to recover. the chemical has been banned in europe since 2005, but in india only since 2011. on the grounds of the state plant breeding institute, remaining stockpiles of some one thousand liters are poured into new containers. at least now, the workers are wearing hazmat suits and masks. the workers on the plantations that were sprayed had no such protection. people here tell horror stories of that time.
5:06 am
>> there's a 1090 tons of endosulfan lying here. in 2013, when endosulfan is banned in the country by supreme court, even the license for production was ceased. so it was allowed to be exported by supreme court. >> court files show that much of it went to bangladesh, ecuador, argentina and brazil. india has stored enough base materials to manufacture four million more liters of endosulfan. and the country's domestic insecticide producers have sued to have the production ban lifted. the president of the indian chemicals industry association says the ban is unjust. he insists endosulfan is not hazardous to humans or the environment and that this was not what struck the people of kerala -- even if hundreds of studies indicate the contrary. >> we have a lot of sympathy for the people, but the blame which has been put on endosulfan we
5:07 am
do not accept. there are various reasons, i'm not a very technical and scientific or a medical man, but there are various reasons -- malnutrition and then marriage amongst the same community. >> even after the ban, the battle seems far from over. environmentalists like shree padre believe many indian politicians side with endosulfan's defenders -- and share in the revenues it brings in. >> we have so much of chemicals and pesticides today, and of all these chemicals, they say only the half-truths. when we realize the rest half of the truth, it is too late. no medical company, none of their doctors, no experts can give you back your health that these chemicals have robbed you of. >> for years, the victims suffered in silence. many were afraid of losing their jobs. but at last, they are starting to speak out. for two months now, balkise and
5:08 am
other mothers of children like haseena have been demonstrating in front of the building of the administration responsible for introducing endosulfan. they're demanding assistance and compensation for the incalculable suffering they've endured. >> the extent of the damage is almost as great as in bhopal. it's time you listened to us. we need assistance and medical help. the government is ignoring us. that's a disgrace. >> haseena's unlikely ever to recover. her mother balkise does the best she can for her with no help from anyone else. it's the harsh everyday reality of the endosulfan victims of kerala. >> india still reserves the right not to follow the the ban of endosulfan under the stockholm convention.
5:09 am
energy from wind power is seeing growth rates of up to 27 per cent over the past few years. and morocco, too is discovering its potential. the country's first wind park is in tángier where the atlantic meets the mediterranean. a constant breeze offers ideal conditions. with german support, engineers are running more than 160 turbines in an effort to keep up with the country's growing energy demand. >> the arabic word charkee means a "wind from the east." in northern morocco's rif mountains, the charkee blows almost constantly. now it's become one of the country's leading energy sources. it drives the tanger wind farm's 165 turbines. mohamed arrouijal is the wind farm's director.
5:10 am
he, four engineers and about two dozen technicians keep the turbines spinning. every two days, they run a routine check on the plateau. the wind has to blow at a yearly average speed of ten meters per second to make a location profitable for wind turbines. at around 17 meters per second, a turbine can generate some 850 kilowatt hours. >> when the wind speed reaches 25 meters per second, the turbine automatically shuts down. that kind of wind is too strong for the equipment. >> that happens a few times a month -- more often in summer than winter. the east wind blows up here from the mediterranean sea about forty kilometers away. the wind farm went online in november, 20-11. its 140-megawatt capacity is about a quarter of what a small, coal-fired power plant can generate.
5:11 am
spain and germany helped finance the project. renewable energy sources could supply a large part of morocco's power needs without greenhouse-gas emissions. >> demand for electricity is rising an average of seven percent a year. so morocco has to prvide an additional four to five hundred megawatts of production capacity per year. there's an enormous potential in wind and solar energy here, and making better use of it could take a lot of pressure off both the budget and the environment. >> as morocco's economy grows, it needs more and more energy. till now, more than ninety percent of its energy has come from imports. gasoline, diesel and fuel oil are offloaded at the port of tangier. it goes to drive power plants, machinery and generators. morocco has moved from a
5:12 am
developing to an emerging economy. rabat, casablanca and tangier are economic hubs, and the growing demand for energy isn't only coming from industry. it's also coming from individuals -- like khadija boumkassar, a seamstress in tangier's old town. her mother started the little family business some forty years ago. khadija began helping out as a young girl. >> my mother and her employees did everything by hand. but eventually, we started getting so many jobs that we bought a sewing machine. that was eight years ago. then the business expanded, and we bought a second, third and fourth sewing machine. >> demand for djellabas peaks during summer. these are the loose robes worn by women. but the power supply is not
5:13 am
reliable. when the power goes out completely, the seamstresses have to go back to sewing by hand. so khadija has been thinking about installing a roof-top solar array. >> the power outages cause big problems for us. we have to stop work, and our customers are unhappy. and electricity is quite expensive. sometimes, i can't pay the power bill right away, and then they turn it off. >> the objective is sufficient energy to meet the demand, preferably from climate-friendly sources. morocco needs its own trained personnel to be able to make long-term and independent use of solar and wind power. starting in late 2012, seven universities, such as this one in rabat, will be offering master's-degree programs in
5:14 am
renewable energies. specialists from germany are to assist in training engineers to run wind farms, for example. >> wind power can create a lot of jobs, in the country. it also has a social impact on the regions. the very windy regions are often poor regions. and developing wind parks in these regions can give also give some economic support to those regions. that's also why we have some training centers we developed in whazzazad, in ujda, in tangier, dedicated to these new technologies. >> the plan is ambitious -- within eight years, morocco is set to be generating 2000 megawatt hours from wind power alone. that's fourteen times the capacity now supplied by the tanger wind farm. but then morocco has more than three thousand kilometers of windy coastline to harness.
5:15 am
the need for qualified personnel is already urgent. >> many of the workers don't have enough practical experience. you can't learn all the necessary skills in just one or two years. i'm sure we'll need three or four years for that. >> mohamed arrouijal is lucky that his turbines are still relatively new. they don't need much maintenance yet. the next big wind farm is already in the planning. and it will require even more qualified engineers. >> thanks to your generosity every so often our reporters get invited to take a seat in your living room and experience what home means in different corners of the world. this time the invitation also involved cake, a parakeet, and a turtle as we visit a global living room in kiev.
5:16 am
>> hello. please come in. i'm oxana. this is our apartment. we've lived here for ten years. this is our living room -- we're fixing it up a bit now. we've lived here a long time, but we've just now gotten the money together to make the place a bit more comfortable. so it doesn't look very cosy right now -- no drapes. and we really have to repaper it.
5:17 am
this is my husband's grandfather. he was a famous movie director in the soviet union. his name was timofei levtchuk. he got this vase for his 70th birthday, and since then, it's been a kind of heirloom. this is my daughter tina. she's seven years old. and here's my husband viktor. and we won't say how old he is. >> say the poem of the crane for us! >> the crane comes home from far away. he flies 'cross woods and seas far-flung. what are these fields, these woods, if i may? they're ukraine, my land, my nest and my tongue.
5:18 am
>> very good! >> and this is our talisman, our turtle salomon. this is hosha. he's a boy, and he's turning four years old. and he always nips me. and he sits on my head. goodbye! all the best! thanks a lot for being our guests. i hope it's been interesting. we had lots of fun. bye! >> in many western countries it's almost a tradition -- young people travel somewhere far away to enjoy life before hitting university or their first job. sounds harmeless enough -- but not for one of their favorite destinations. back in 1996 the small laotian village of vang vieng only had
5:19 am
one guest house. a few entries in some guide books and websites later -- and this sleepy place has become a top "party destination". a development with profound effects on the local population. >> it's afternoon in vangvieng, and thousands of tourists are already partying along the river bank, drinking, dancing, smoking pot and generally living it up. many of them drink whatever they can get -- whisky, liquor -- from whatever they can get. >> the mood is really great, and there are so many people to party with. >> you're getting on a tube and pouring down the river, and getting off at bars and getting soaked and free drinks in buckets, a lot of music, a lot of people dancing. it's crazy! yeah, it's nuts. >> vangvieng is the newest party town for hardcore western hedonists.
5:20 am
it's four hours' drive from the laotian capital vientiane. the first backpackers showed up only a decade ago. today, the trickle of tourists has turned into a flood, drawn by the low prices and seeming tolerance of the locals. >> they don't judge you. you don't know people. you can go up to someone and say "saba-dee" and they say "saba-dee" back. >> we can't do all this at home, you know. there's none of this at home, like at all. yeah, this is illegal in ireland, like, you know. it's not illegal here. >> the visitors take each other as examples and feel they can do whatever they want. away from the tourist crowds is another laos -- unhurried, tranquil -- it's time to plant the rice paddies again, as generations have done. the routine of planting and harvesting sets the pace of life in the villages. everyone helps everyone else. the people are friendly and
5:21 am
peaceful -- typical buddhist virtues. more and more tourists keep showing up here, often half naked, ready to party down. >> there are people who come through here naked. that's not good -- not for our children, either. if i sent my children somewhere else, i'd make sure they had something on. >> that's a different culture -- it's not the laotian culture. >> down on the river, the partiers have discovered the water slide. by five p.m., they've already hit any number of riverfront bars. the more they tank up, the more self-control slips away. dirty dancing in laos -- an unforgettable experience, if they remember it the next day. and no one even asks what the laotians think of it.
5:22 am
>> they make money off us. but they don't have any life of their own any more -- they fit in with what we want to do. right now, i'm enjoying it, because i'm in a position to take advantage of it. but then, once i'm gone, well, so many more will come after. >> young, wild, free and thoroughly wasted is a volatile mix. many partiers get hurt trying to jump in the river while drunk. >> you get caught on the rocks -- it's inevitable. and the rocks are so sharp. >> our friend got 10 stitches in his leg. >> they were so big! >> that's what the tubing does to you. it's so dangerous. >> the hospital treats five to ten tourists a day. the toughest ones go on partying even with broken bones and other injuries.
5:23 am
there are deaths, as well. last year's official count was 27. but there is no other record of the exact figure. the laotians believe the deaths leave them with bad karma, so they make offerings to appease the spirit world. in the evening, many tourists go out to eat in downtown vangvieng and relax. bars and restaurants offer any of a range of spiked brownies, marijuana, magic mushrooms and even opium. "no shirt, no shoes, no service" is not the laos way. but it's also not the custom to walk around in public scantily clad or to make a racket. >> i love tourism. i earn money from it. but it's a problem for the children. they can't tell right from wrong yet. and they start skipping school because of the bad examples they see. >> sengkeo bob frichitthavong's family lives in vangvieng.
5:24 am
he was born here, but lived in canada for ten years. he says it's not true that the tourists' wild behavior doesn't bother the laotians. >> i think they misunderstand it. they thought it's ok, because you are so laid-back. but that's how the lao people are. i think the main thing is the whole education. like most of the local people, they don't have a high education. i heard them talk "oh, how could they do that? wearing a bikini, walking inside the market?" >> drunkenness and immodest behavior in public aren't the only problems. laotian families -- even poor ones -- donate money and food to the temples as alms for the needy. the poorest can come to the temple for meals. a system not set up for these westerners. >> the tourists come here and see the food. they're allowed to eat and
5:25 am
sleep here for two or three days. but they have to observe the temple's rules. >> they seem not to realize they're taking from the poorest of the poor. in the evening, they'll party on. they may have found a piece of paradise, but many don't really seem to care. >> many who leave from here are sad they have to go back to the "real world" -- this is the real world for the people of vang vieng. >> and that was global 3000 for today. thanks for watching. please join us again next week for more stories that affect our world. until then from me and the entire global 3000 team here in berlin. bye bye! captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
5:26 am
5:27 am
5:28 am
5:29 am

11 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on